Giving Up

I have a confession.

For the past 5 weeks I've been here I've cried at least 3 times because I realised a few things:

1. The papers I'm doing this semester are very, very challenging. I thought I wasn't smart enough or working hard enough.

2. Being the Ameera for the Muslim Students Association is a huge responsibility and I was afraid I'd let everyone down and most of all, I was afraid I'd let myself down and let it affect my studies.

3. Being a final year varsity student without my Mum is harder than I thought it would be. She is my home away from home. My comfort zone when the world feels so foreign and scary. She was supposed to come back to Dunedin 2 weeks ago but we just found out we have to send our maid back to Indonesia so she had to stay back and look for a new one. These days it is extremely hard to find a maid because the government is limiting the amount of Indonesian maids into Malaysia. Apart from that there are other family issues holding her back home.

I cried when I was under pressure and felt like people didn't understand. I cried when my Mum told me she can only come back in later in May. I cried when I reminisced about my late Dad and realised how I will never ever be able to see him again and make up for all the times I was a selfish and unreasonable. I recite Surah Al-Fatihah for him after every prayer I perform and sometimes I can feel him telling me he will always love me as I will always be his daughter because in Islam our connection isn't only biological but also a spiritual one.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy and grateful about every single thing in my life right up to every last detail. Yes even the tears and sadness because they've taught me what it means and feels like to be truly happy. I know some people look at me and judge me from what they see on the outside. They think I'm a spoiled brat who's only concerned about getting what she wants when she wants it. The truth is I just believe in going after what I want in life and that nothing and no one is worth being angry and bitter over because they're all part of God's bigger plan for me. There have been times when I felt like giving up but each time that happens my inner voice inside my heart tells me, "If you give up now you're not giving up on the endeavour... you're giving up on yourself."

This time around I heard that same voice. I decided to gather all my strength and soldier on. I reached out for help. I spoke to my classmate, a 3rd year Law student, and he told me he finds the paper is hard too. We exchanged tips and ideas and suddenly it didn't feel as daunting as before. I spoke to my Mum recently and she told me some good news. We can keep our maid so she can come back at the end of this month inshaAllah. I confided in my friends about being stressed and they gave me support and told me I can always step down from the position of Ameera if it was all getting too much. In the end I decided to take on the role because there must be a reason why God has placed me in this situation, right? Then yesterday whilst organising our upcoming Annual Sisters Gathering I received a few emails from my committee members:
MashaAllah Shahirah. You are organized and make a great boss! Keep up with the good work :)
Thanks for being our Amirah ^.~ coz as Nourah R said you make a great leader for sure !!
Alhamdulillah! I was overjoyed! You have no idea how touched I felt and how relieved I was at the same time. I realised that all I had to do was not give up. I decided to have faith in myself and the people around me. I decided to think positive and visualise everything falling into place. I worked towards my goal instead of walking away from my responsibilities. Two years ago it felt as if graduating was next to impossible. I went through so much while I was studying - I lost the most important man in my life and my last remaining grandparent - and now here I am in my final year. Stronger than ever before and amazingly enough, more grounded and humbled than ever as well. When I look back at my life I think about how if I had given up years ago and stopped having faith in God, I can say with full certainty that I wouldn't have experienced all these life-changing lessons and adventures. I wouldn't have achieved anything memorable or met anyone inspiring. I look at my grades, pictures from my past and from last summer and pictures of my adorable 4-month old niece, Nisreen.... and life makes sense. Yes, every bit of it including all the adversities and disappointments.

Last night I cried again but it wasn't because I felt sad. They were tears of happiness and gratitude.

"You've got to fight for every dream because who's to know which one you let go would've made you complete."

Dear Nisreen, I can't get over how perfect you are to me mashaAllah. Baby, you have no idea what a blessing you are to our lives. We will always love you!


Aisha said…

Shahirah, this post really moved me. I'm so sorry to read about the hardships you've had to face especially losing your dad :( [may Allah swt grant him Jannat al Firdous], but am so glad that you've come out strong hun. I truly believe where we overcome a struggle, Allah gives a million more reasons to keep fighting our inner battles and be happy.

You've got some wonderful moments in life to look forward to, insha'Allah, your graduation being one of them! [its the most amazing feeling]

Enjoy them =)

p.s baby is soooo gorgeous, masha'Allah!!
Unknown said…
dearest Shahirah, you're one amazingly inspirational person i know.I'm moved by this post and your inner strength. Keep in mind the hadith of Rasulullah (saw):

amazing is the affairs of a believer, when good befalls him, he is thankful and Allah increases him in good. When bad befalls him, he is stil thankful and that is even better for him.

You are a winner in every sense!

Proud of u!
Mustika Sari said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mustika Sari said…
Dear Shahirah, it's been such a pleasure getting to know you by reading your posts, and this is truly an inspirational one.. it reminds me to not give up anything..and keep on fighting.. :)
we should cherish all the things Allah has given us :)
and by the way, your niece is really cute :)
Amalia said…
Well done for not giving up Shahirah! This was a really moving post and you really inspired me. I'm sure you make a great amirah :)
Shahirah dear,

You are one strong woman who when failure looks her in the eyes, fights back with patience and perserverance. I remember back at Uni, I had a few courses which were so difficult I felt for sure I would have to drop the course. But I stuck with it, wasnt afraid to ask for help and in the end aced the course! So happy for you that your mom inshaAllah will be coming to see you this month! I wanted to share a few inspiring quotes with you.

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
Adams, John Quincy

Albert Einstein, three rules of work

1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Anonymous said…
sha, i know how u feel. i'm in the same boat too. Things have been really difficult for me with the final sem work, revision and many many more which i cant explain how difficult it is. anyways, i'm so proud of u! Keep up the good work bcoz i know you can do it! insyaAllah. take care babe. <3 u.xx
Anonymous said…
Salam Shahirah :o),
thanks for this beautiful post.It's really deep.I'm sorry you lost your dad.
aw (((Hugs)) Im sorry about your dad Shahirah :(
may the Almighty grant him jannah, ameen.
we must remember that Allah doesn't burden a soul more than he/she can bear, He knows that we're strong enough to get through this.
We have to walk across the rickety bridge to see the rainbow on the other side. Im glad that you didn't give up.
Stay smiling & chin up eh :)
Anonymous said…
Salam Shahirah,

sorry to hear on your difficulties. Please pray a lot to God and be strong. As muslims, we believe that all that challenges are from God and InshaAllah if we always remember Him, He will remember us too. All the best on your study and life :D
Shahirah Elaiza said…
*HUGS* to everyone! I was feeling pretty terrible for the last 2 weeks or so but I tried not to show it. Thank you so much for your well wishes, comments and inspiring quotes! =)

All is good now and I decided to write this post to let people know that when something in life gets tough DON'T QUIT, find a way through it because you never know what you could be missing out on. Visualise what you want in life, work towards it and God willing, you will achieve it. And if you don't, it's probably God's way of saying there's something better for you out there.
Texan after UAE said…
Ok, now wiping my tears. Subhana'Allah, what a great post. Masha'a'Allah. I am so sorry about the loss of your dear father, chin up, he would be proud. No doubt. You keep going sweetie, your doing a fab job. Don't let the pressure get to you, in the end it will be all worth it. Your niece is to adorable for words. Masha'a'Allah wa alhamdulilah! such a blessing. ((((hugs))))
sha,sedihnya baca artikel ni,tp betol2 give me strength to really2 work on my research paper & give full attention for my final exam. This is my final semester & my CGPA is not good enough to get scholarship to further PhD oversea.But I'm sure,Allah swt have a big plan for me too..maybe within this few years, I can strengthen my English, my writings & prepare for my PhD.Insyaallah & I pray that everything goes well for u & may Allah bless u dear..
ashieBee said…
ahhhh yesssss, the main ingredient in success is not give up on yourself! when you decided to give up, that's the end of the journey. coz you not gonna do anything to make it happen anymoreeeee.

hang in there, babe!!!! **hugs**